MS Head's Blog
In the Middle of It All
Middle School Musings by Trevor O’Driscoll, Bancroft's Head of Middle School
Most weeks, MS Head Trevor O’Driscoll writes a short note to parents and faculty about middle school, education, parenting, and other topics relevant to our community. We share these Middle School Musings here for the benefit and enjoyment of all who are interested. Read recent entries, browse the archives, and delight in Mr. O’Driscoll’s take on our Middle School and the amazing people who inhabit it.
Guest Post: Maggie G's MS Awards Speech
The following blog post comes from guest author Maggie G., a member of the Class of 2021, who shared it with the Bancroft community at the closing of the 2017 Middle School Awards Ceremony.
Before I begin I would like to thank you all for coming to our 2017 Middle School Awards ceremony. I would also like to thank a few of the groups who have contributed to today’s celebration: the administration, the faculty, and of course, the families, without all of whom absolutely none of this would have been possible, so thank you.
As many of you know we usually have closing words from Mr. O’Driscoll at our Middle School assemblies. It is one of the little things that we can always count on here. Similarly, our teachers know they can count on our hard work throughout the year, and today, we’re excited to celebrate some of the outcomes of this work.
I don’t know about you, but as this year is coming to a close, I’ve been expecting to feel an automatic shift into my 9th grade self. I’m not sure why, but I expected almost an overnight transition with new responsibilities slowly revealing themselves to us. I expected a shift in “power” along with a sudden increase in maturity. The 6th graders would suddenly be 7th graders; the 7th graders would magically become 8th graders, and we, the 8th graders, would official be high schoolers. As I stand here before you today, however, I can tell you I don’t yet feel like a 9th grader. But as we look back at our September selves, we can all see a difference from then until now.
Each of us has been recognized in some way for the progress and hard work we have demonstrated this year, whether that be on the stage, on the field, on the court, or in the classroom. We have been pushed to achieve things that most of us probably thought that we could never do. Then it is suddenly gone, poof! into thin air, without a trace until we have days like this that remind us. This day is just one of the stepping stones in a series. At the end of all of these steps it will be 4 years later when the eighth grade class will have finished high school and awarded a diploma for four more years of hard work and progress.
As this time passes, the Class of 2021 will be different in many ways; however there are currently 41 8th graders who sit before you today. 41 kids whose names are recorded on a roster. Whose names to a stranger might be flipped over and regarded as insignificant. But to me, and I hope to the rest of the class and the entire Middle School community, these names recall memories from the year. The “A” names start, and everything comes rushing back in, like the little quirks that'll be remembered by all.
I don’t pretend to be under the illusion that all of us get along 100% of the time, or that we’ll definitely be friends forever and ever until we are all old and grey, or the universe ends (whichever comes first). But I don’t believe that we will forget so easily either. As Mr. Urban will tell you, “The Sands of Time” was the only title deemed unacceptable for our essays and research papers this year. It was too vanilla, too unoriginal. However, these ‘sands of time’ do, in fact, serve a purpose: they will continue to etch into our brain, slowly solidifying the memories we take with us. They will chip away at the less fond memories of stress and tests and papers. Instead, the way we have formed relationships with our teachers and friendships with each other, those memories will stay with us.
We’ll remember. Remember the way that Ms. Sigismondi would have a smile full of energy that could excite even the most gloomy teenager on the earliest Monday morning. Or the way that our conversations with Mr. Kamosky would somehow always circle back to the questions of nuclear war, the illusion of time, if space is infinite, or whether or not we are alone on our tiny planet. Or the way that Mr. Phillips would end class by cracking a cheesy joke that would either result in dead silence or send us into a belly laugh. Or the way that our World Geography discussions with Mr. Urban would somehow, one way or another, evolve into political debates.
These memories will stay with us, no matter where we are going next year, or in the years to come. Some, like myself will continue at Bancroft. Though others in our grade will branch off to other high schools, we will remember, all of us.
In the spirit of remembering, let’s not forget the other two thirds of the middle school: the sixth and seventh graders. Although today’s awards were primarily awarded to eighth graders, we cannot disregard the progress and hard work that they have all shown throughout the year. For example, the seventh grade has unwaveringly worked on the Science Fair and almost all of the students sent to regionals placed. Additionally, these students will be competing at the State level competition this Saturday. The sixth graders tirelessly worked on the Blackstone Valley project, while simultaneously learning about the state in which we live.
As we celebrate the impressive accomplishments that we have made this school year, we will continue to look and move toward the future, but we will not forget the past or how experiences we have had here shaped us. After grasping for the words to conclude my speech, I continued to think and realized that my words might not have done this year justice, which is when I stumbled upon this quote that finally built my bridge to the end: “Be smart enough to hold on and brave enough to let go.”
Thank you all and congratulations for another dynamic school year.
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